|International Arrivals To The United States For March and First Quarter 2004|
The U.S. welcomed 8.0 million international visitors in the first quarter of 2004. This was an increase of 12 percent compared to first quarter 2003. Nineteen of the top 20 visitor markets registered gains for the quarter.
Total international arrivals (includes overseas, Canada and Mexico) to the U.S. began on a positive note in 2004, following the lead of fourth quarter 2003, which was up three percent and the only quarter to experience positive growth last year. January arrivals increased by two percent and February jumped by 13 percent, with significant contributions from Canada and Mexico. March 2004 arrivals grew by 20 percent. However, the latter was not surprising given the occurrence of the Iraqi War (commencing 3/19) and the SARS epidemic in March 2003. Also, the first quarter 2004 was up almost three percent compared to the first quarter of 2002.
The increase in overseas arrivals (excluding Canada and Mexico) was the major driver to the overall increase in international tourism. Overseas arrivals totaled 4.3 million in the first quarter, up 14 percent. Monthly contributions were January, up five percent, February, up 11 percent and March, up 26 percent.
Travel to the U.S. increased from ALL world regions in the first quarter of 2004. Visitation from Western Europe and Asia accounted for three-quarters of all overseas arrivals.
Arrivals from Western Europe totaled 770,000 for March, up 28 percent, and 1.9 million for the quarter, up 16 percent. The U.K. and Germany (see country synopsis, below) proved to be major contributors from the region.
Asian travelers totaled 465,000 for March, up 29 percent, with 1.4 million arrivals for the quarter, up 15 percent. Japan continues to be the major driver in this region (see country synopsis, below).
The turnaround story appears to be South America. With 349,000 first quarter arrivals, South America registered its first positive quarter, up seven percent, since the first quarter of 2001! Brazil was the strong performer in the region, again this quarter (see country analysis, below). Venezuela and Colombia have reversed their paths of chronic double-digit declines by registering flat growth and three percent growth, respectively. Arrivals from Argentina, a smaller market with 39,000 travelers, grew by 18 percent for the quarter.
The remaining world regions continued to show improvement in the first quarter.
Top Visitor Markets:
However, in March, 241,000 Mexicans visited the U.S. ‘interior’, up 14 percent. For the quarter, there were 677,000 arrivals, an increase of seven percent. And of total arrivals to the interior, 263,000 traveled by air, up six percent for the quarter.
PRC & Hong Kong:
The first quarter registered 78,000 arrivals, an improvement of 11 percent. (The severe impact from SARS was starting to be felt in March 2003.) First quarter 2004 was also a significant up-tick from the fourth quarter 2003 which declined three percent from the fourth quarter 2002.
TOP PORTS – First Quarter 2004
In addition to tracking arrivals to the country, on a monthly basis,
OTTI also has data on arrivals for over 40 ports of entry by all world
regions and 30 countries. A brief analysis is presented on the top 15
ports for overseas arrivals in 2004.
Thirteen of the top fifteen airports posted increased arrivals. The exceptions were Honolulu, down two percent and Detroit, down nine percent. Agana, Guam, Orlando and Newark registered the largest increases, at 53 percent, 29 percent, and 27 percent, respectively.
Miami held on as the leading port of entry for the quarter. Agana jumped from eighth to fifth, ahead of San Francisco, Chicago and Newark. Houston displaced Detroit from the twelfth spot.
To access top port activity, go to: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/m-2004-I-001/port_entry04_1q.html
The above analysis is a synopsis of the world regions and the top markets
generating arrivals to the United States. Arrival statistics for the top
countries and world regions may be accessed on-line from the monthly section
of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
(OTTI) web site at:
Once on this page, there are numerous links to tables that provide arrivals for the top arrival markets to the United States. Please take a look at each of the links available.
The monthly Summary of International Travel to the U.S. report has approximately 30 tables that provide data on monthly and year-to-date arrivals to the country. The report provides data on approximately 90 countries each month and over 40 ports-of-entry. Numerous breakouts are provided by world region, countries and for the port tables as well. To learn more about this program, please go to: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i94/index.html
If you would like to purchase the monthly international arrival reports
for 2004, please go to: https://travel.trade.gov/research/reports/i94/index.html